I am a huge fan of homemade sodas. In moments, I can stir together a flavorful simple syrup, chill it down, and stir it into a glass of sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
The thing is, I’m a snob. I don’t like most regular sodas, because I find them cloyingly sweet (although I admit to drinking a root beer every now and then, especially if there’s ice cream involved). With homemade syrups, I can control the sweetness, and create nearly any flavor I want. It doesn’t hurt that their made with real sugar, either, instead of that high-fructose corn syrup nonsense.
I’ve been sharing a lot of cocktails, lately, like these Pomegranate Ginger Fizzes, or these Rhubarb and Lime Mojitos, but when I’m not making cocktails, I’m using those same syrups mixed with a little sparkling water, or ginger ale, to make sodas.
Last week, after I posted the recipe for my Homemade Maraschino Cherries, I set out to create a cocktail with them (and I did), but found I liked it so well as a soda, I wanted to share it both ways.
I present to you, Cherry Lime Soda, and Boozy Cherry Limeade.
This simple syrup has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, made from fresh squeezed lime juice and tart cherry concentrate, blended with just enough sugar to keep you from puckering.
I shared both soda and cocktail version of this drink with friends over the weekend, and it was such a hit I blew threw two batches of simple syrup and an entire jar of cherries in one evening.
If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is.
- 3-4 TBSP cherry lime simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1-2 oz. white rum, or tequila (optional, omit to make soda)
- 1 TBSP juice from homemade maraschino cherries (optional, omit to make soda)
- 6-8 oz. sparkling water
- Homemade maraschino cherries, for garnish
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 TBSP 100% tart cherry juice concentrate
- ¾-1 cup sugar (depending on the tartness of the limes)
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.
- Strain into a clean, tightly lidded jar or bottle, and store in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
- Stir together 3-4 TBSP cherry lime simple syrup and 6-8 oz. sparkling water. Pour over ice, and enjoy.
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the cherry lime simple syrup, liqueur, and maraschino cherry juice. Shake hard for 15-20 seconds, then pour into a glass with ice.
- Top off the glass with sparkling water, and garnish with a couple maraschino cherries. Enjoy!
This recipe is meant to be made with homemade maraschino cherries, and freshly squeezed lime juice. I cannot be held responsible if you choose to use store bought cherries, or that stuff they call lime juice that comes in a little lime-shaped squeeze bottle. (You could use Luxardo cherries, though, which are insanely delicious, but also insanely expensive.)
Also, I noted in the recipe that you could use either white rum or tequila for the boozy cherry limeade -- I have tried the recipe both ways, and like them both equally. Use whichever liqueur you prefer, or try it with both to see which you like more.
This recipe is meant to be made with homemade maraschino cherries (click for recipe), and freshly squeezed lime juice.